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Firefighters have continued today to try and contain the massive fire near Lake Pukaki (near Mt Cook Aoraki) which has been burning since 11.25 am on Sunday.
Since there was over-cloud cover, it means aerial operations were halted today. Ground crews proceeded work to confirm safety zones throughout property and structures and containment around the perimeter of the fire.
The fire remains active, and the affected area now extends to roughly 3,000 hectares with a boundary of 31km (this has been refined due to more accurate mapping). Wind speeds have fallen overnight along with rain and then snow.
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Alpine Energy is working to restore power to affected properties. The owners of properties in the fire zone served a briefing this afternoon and are now able to access their homes.
“We thank them for their understanding and co-operation while they have been displaced,” said Fire and Emergency NZ.
State Highway 9 is open to traffic. There are no threats of the fire spreading to the Twizel township or Mount Cook Village.
Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare toured the fire zone today with a representative from the National Emergency Management Agency.
He further visited the incident room in Twizel and engaged with affected families and thanked the pilots and aerial support crew at the airport.
“He extended his thanks to all involved in response to the fire and was impressed by both the professionalism of the response and the resilience of the local community,” said Fire and Emergency NZ.
Planning is underway for tomorrow. Multiple crews will remain at the scene overnight, and the situation will be looked at first light on Wednesday morning.
Further, on Wednesday morning, Fire and Emergency NZ said they would provide a further update at 11 am.
Read further stories on this topic below:
Large fire spreads rapidly near Mt Cook Aoraki
VIDEO: Large fire spreads rapidly near Mt Cook Aoraki